What to look for when booking your dog-friendly cottage holiday cottages


What to look for when booking your dog-friendly cottage

Kate Williams 30 January 2023

Check out our list of what to look for when booking your dog-friendly cottage and begin planning ahead for an unforgettable holiday with the whole pack. There are literally thousands of holiday cottages for dogs to choose from in our collection, so we completely understand if you aren’t quite sure where to begin!

Below, we’ve compiled a useful list of the top things to look for when booking your dog-friendly cottage to help you narrow down your search. Look out for all or some of these extras to plan an easy, relaxing stay with your canine pup. A couple of our Canine Critics have even joined us in putting together this list by giving their view of what they look for in a dog-friendly cottage, so keep an eye out for their tips!

Already have an idea of what you’re looking for? Begin browsing our cottage collection for holiday inspiration.

An enclosed garden

An enclosed garden

All dogs love nothing better than time spent outside – chasing squirrels, rolling in mud and finding sticks for a good ol’ game of fetch. However, while your pup is running, sniffing and chasing to their heart’s content, they generally aren’t too worried about their own safety.

That's why an enclosed garden is a necessity for escape artist dogs and young puppers who enjoy investigating and could quite easily wander off down the road or sneak out through that hole in the fence when your back is turned. Look out for an enclosed garden when you're browsing places to stay and you could be sipping morning coffee while your dog gets a bit of free time off the lead and out in the fresh air. Both our Canine Critics agree that an enclosed garden is an absolute must for them.

The canines speak

"Definitely an enclosed garden for me to run around in where I can’t escape!" – Ronnie

"Enclosed garden for sure. An enclosed garden [is important to us] so I can run around worry-free!"  – Talyn

Room for all your mates

Dog-friendly cottage in Cardigan

Ensure no dog gets left behind when booking your dog-friendly holiday cottage. We know how frustrating it can be when your pack numbers four of five and yet you cannot find a cottage to match your requirements. It's either the whole family or none at all, right? 

That's why we have a collection dedicated to families with multiple dogs so every single playful pup and old dog gets to join in on your break. Some cottages welcome one dog, others welcome a whole pack! Don't waste time scrolling through holiday lets that aren't the right fit. Let us know how many dogs you'd like to bring along and we are sure to find a cottage that's perfect for you. 

If you only have one or two dogs in the family, you could still book a cottage for five and meet up with your canine friends on your break for one big holiday adventure.

Local dog walks

The Retreat, Flash, dog-friendly cottages in the Peak District

Another outdoorsy point to look out for when browsing through our paw-friendly cottages is a nearby dog walk for you and your family to conquer. Whenever the magical word ‘W-A-L-K-I-E-S’ is announced, tails begin to wag and noses begin to sniff the air excitedly – it wouldn’t be a dog-friendly holiday without a wonderful dog walk!

With the whole of the UK offering amazing walking destinations, you and your faithful friend are spoilt for choice. Discover our favourite dog walks in Scotland, take a look through the wide range of trails that lead across the Peak District or begin exploring the many beautiful dog walks in Cornwall. Make the most of your holiday adventure by choosing a cottage with excellent dog walks from the doorstep, whether you prefer a gentle seaside stroll, a chance to wildlife-watch in a reserve, or you enjoy a challenging heathland hike.

One way to discover a holiday cottage with plenty of dog walks on the doorstep is to browse our choice of pet-friendly farm cottages. You'll be surrounded by the rural beauty of the countryside, and chances are there will be plenty of winding lanes and footpaths through meadows to explore. Take a look into the local area before you go to ensure there's a dog walk nearby that will suit you and your pup.

The Retreat | sleeps 4 dogs + 2 humans

Simply named 'The Retreat', this cottage is in the village of Flash in the Peak District with the Three Shires Head moorland walk just down the road. 

The canines speak

Ronnie is an advocate for time spent outdoors while on holiday:

"A great location with exciting walks nearby and a beautiful view is always a big perk!" – Ronnie

A pet-friendly beach

A few of our favourite beaches for dogs across the UK include Porthmeor Beach in Cornwall, Camber Sands in East Sussex and Alnmouth in Northumberland, and we've put together our ultimate beach bucket list in this guide to dog-friendly beaches in the UK. Ensure you and your playful pup get the chance to spend a bit of time racing about on the golden sand or shingle of a local beach during your pet-friendly break. 

Stones Throw Beach Retreat

Stones Throw Beach Retreat | sleeps 1 dog + 8 humans

Stones Throw Beach Retreat is a dog-friendly cottage that leads straight onto Pevensey Beach - perfect for dog walks! Talking of amazing dog walks, if you happen to be holidaying near the coast, then a dog-friendly beach is a must-have during a coastal holiday. There's nothing like the wind in your fur and the waves lapping at your paws as you race across golden sand, and there are plenty of dog-friendly beaches that are popular with local dog walkers so you might make some hound pals on your day out. 

A cosy place to sleep

The Barn At Devil's Water

After all that adventure, your canine companion needs their own spot in the cottage where they can curl up and relax. Look out for a cosy corner, preferably similar to their home set-up, whether that’s in front of the TV or under the kitchen table; somewhere they will feel comfortable while away.

We even have holiday cottages for dogs that come equipped with a dog bed, so if your pet is a happy-go-lucky traveller, you don’t even need to worry about bringing your own! Bear in mind however that dogs who get anxious may still prefer the comforting smells and feel of their own dog bed from home.

The Barn at Devil's Water | sleeps 2 dogs + 10 humans

The Barn At Devil's Water has space for your dog to stretch out on their bed complete with a view.

The canines speak

Our Canine Critics both love having a space to relax in after busy days out and about:

"We look for somewhere with a fire or log burner so we can get all cosy on an evening after a long walk." – Ronnie 

"We look for a fireplace, oh I do love lying in front of the fire!" – Talyn

Look out for rugs

The Old Butchers

Imagine skidding around on ice skates all day - that’s what it’s like for a dog running about on wooden floors which might feel a bit strange unless they are used to them at home.

There’s no need for the whole cottage to be carpeted, after all, statement hard floors in the kitchen are always stunning, it’s worth just checking there are rugs and perhaps one room with carpet where your dog won’t be sliding about the place. Luckily, having four legs for balance comes in useful when contending with hardwood flooring!

The Old Butchers | sleeps 2 dogs + 8 humans

The Old Butchers has a stylish rug right in the sitting room for hounds to settle down on.

Dog treats/toys/any special extras!

The Cottage at Hall Farm House

Don’t forget to keep an eye out for bonus extras offered by some of our dog-friendly cottages. Your dog will be waggy-tailed excited to find out we have holiday homes that provide dog treats in the welcome basket, dog blankets for snuggly evenings and cottages near pet-friendly pubs.

Mucky pups may be less thrilled to hear that we have cottages with dog showers and hoses for cleaning down sandy or muddy paws, although we reckon their owners will be quite happy about those bonus extras!

We also have pet-friendly properties with dog walking areas or exercise paddocks, ideal for big dogs who need a bit of space or energetic hounds who like to play or practise their tricks. Having a dog exercise area nearby is similar to having an enclosed garden outside your cottage, but with far more space for running, playing and generally having fun while on holiday.

The Cottage at Hall Farm House | sleeps 2 dogs + 6 humans

The Cottage at Hall Farm House in Melton Mowbray has a fabulous paddock for wearing out your four-legged friends.

What about the two-legged guests?

Dogs in the garden

But it's important to not forget us humans! Of course, your perfect holiday cottage needs to be not only wonderfully dog friendly, but perfect for the entire party – whether you have important needs to consider or just fancy a holiday with your own private hot tub on site.

Filter your search and you can browse our accessible cottages so you can make the most of your dog-friendly getaway, or if you’ve got a group to entertain, take a look through our cottages with games rooms or spa facilities.

You’ll find cottages with pools, waterside views, fishing on-site and more, so get inspired by pawing through our collection. Many of our holiday homes even have wood burners as we all know how important it is to curl up and catch up each evening in a welcoming space – both two and four-legged can soak in the warmth and atmosphere from a crackling fire.

The canines speak

When it comes to their humans’ requirements, Ronnie and Talyn have a couple of extra points they’d like to include:

"Somewhere with character or quirky features is a hit with us." – Ronnie

"One of my mums is disabled so it needs to be disabled-friendly. We like to be on one level if possible. My mum loves having a bath, so it’s great if there is a bath, and of course, Wi-Fi so I can show all my friends what I am up to." – Talyn 

These are our top things to look for when booking your dog-friendly cottage, although you’re sure to have more suggestions. Let us know what you think!

Stay at one of our self-catering Canine Cottages

Our handpicked holiday cottages across the UK cater for all canines and their human companions, and we have a wide range offering special extras from dog treats to dog walks, so you and your pup will be spoilt for choice.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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